HUD Publishes Notice Delaying Section 3 Reporting for Public Housing Projects

In PIH Notice 2022-38, HUD notes that PHAs who receive public housing Operating Fund or Capital Fund financial assistance will not report Section 3 data “until further notice.” HUD has not completed the new reporting system. HUD may still require PHAs to produce documentation, so PHAs must continue to retain it on-site.

This notice’s reporting changes do not apply to housing and community development projects, such as the RAD post-conversion, Choice Neighborhoods, CDBG, HOPWA, HOME, Housing Trust Fund, and Section 202 and 811 projects.

For more information, see the January 15, 2023 edition of The NAHRO Monitor. Find PIH Notice 2022-38 here.

Notice on Personal Property and Equipment Requirements Published

On December 14, HUD issued Notice PIH 2022-37. The notice discusses Personal Property requirements under 2 CFR part 200 and identifies Equipment management and disposition obligations. In the case of 2 CFR part 200, “personal property” means property other than real property that may be tangible, having physical existence, or intangible. “Equipment” means tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. “Supplies” means all tangible personal property other than those described in the definition of equipment.

The determination of whether an item qualifies as equipment is determined at the time of acquisition. PHAs must maintain property records, complete a physical inventory of the property every two years, have a control system to ensure adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the property, have adequate maintenance procedures, and procedures to ensure the highest possible return if the PHA is authorized or required to sell the property. For any equipment that the PHA sells that is worth more than $5,000, the PHA must compensate HUD for its interest in the property, either the lesser of 10% of the sale or $500. The PHA is not required to do this if the trade-in or selling of the property is used for replacement equipment.

The notice can be found here.

HOPWA Grantees Required to Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms/Detectors

On December 8, HUD issued Notice CPD-22-15, requiring Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) grantees and project sponsors to ensure that all dwelling units under the program have carbon monoxide (CO) alarms or detectors installed. The notice goes into effect on December 27, 2022.

Types of units included

  • new construction
  • project or tenant-based rental assistance
  • short-term rent, mortgage, and utility payments (not subject to HOPWA HQS requirements)
  • permanent housing placement (not subject to HOPWA HQS requirements)
  • acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease, and repair of facilities
  • operating costs

Implementation

For units that are subject to the HOPWA Housing Quality Standards (HQS), grantees and project sponsors should assess for CO alarms or detectors when completing an HQS inspection. Grantees/project sponsors should add a question on their HQS inspection forms as to the presence of functioning CO alarms or detectors and document compliance to be kept in the household’s file.

Units not subject to HOPWA HQS may rely on self-certification by the tenant or owner. Grantees/project sponsors should develop materials or trainings to make sure whomever is conducting a self-certification understands and applies the applicable criteria of all properly installed CO detectors or alarms.

In addition, the notice provides ways to prevent intrusion of the devices and examples of sources that create or emit CO. Resources about CO alarms and information are also provided in the notice.

For more guidance and information in the notice please see here.

HUD Waives Build America, Buy America Act Requirements Until February 21, 2023 in Most Instances

On December 14, 2022, HUD finalized three waivers for implementing the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA), moving the compliance date to February 21, 2023 for most  programs except for those using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to purchase iron or steel.

Public Interest Phased Implementation Waiver — This waiver will delay implementation of BABA for funds allocated before February 21, 2023 except for CDBG money used to purchase iron or steel with funding allocated after November 13, 2022.

Public Interest De Minimis Waiver — The de minimis waiver would exclude small projects, projects completed with small sums of money, or small portions of large projects from complying with the BAP. HUD finalized $250,000 as the de minimis threshold for applying the BAP or five percent of a covered project up to $1 million. This waiver applies for up to five years from November 23, 2022.

Public Interest Exigent Circumstances Waiver — The exigent circumstances waiver would exclude projects that protect resident health and safety from compliance with the BAP. This waiver applies for up to five years from November 23, 2022.

Find finalized versions of each waiver here and NAHRO’s full comment letter for each of these three waivers here.

HUD Publishes CARES Act Close Out Procedures Notice

PHAs have until April 30, 2023 to finish liquidating any CARES Act obligations used for supplemental Public Housing Operating Funds. PIH Notice 2022-35 updated the deadline to complete the liquidation process to the new date in April 2023. However, it did not modify the Dec. 31, 2021 CARES Act obligation deadline. In addition to liquidating obligations by April 30, 2023, PHAs who reported obligations that have not been liquidated on their SF-425 form must submit another by the April deadline showing that this process is complete. Those funds that were not obligated on the previous SF-425 have been recaptured, and any funds unliquidated by April will also be recaptured. Finally, HUD notes that CARES Act funds have been unavailable to draw down since April 30, 2022. The notice provides guidance for requesting additional CARES Act funds since April 2022 and which obligations are eligible.

Find PIH Notice 2022-35 here.

HUD Publishes Public Housing Operating Subsidy Eligibility Calculations and Processing Notice

PIH Notice 2022-36 updates Public Housing Operating Fund subsidy grant calculation requirements, including deadlines for PHAs. Since the previous notice in December 2021, this notice revises requirements for using the System for Award Management (SAM), updates utility data calculations, and updates resources and guidance for 2023.

This notice provides guidance covering the following topics:

  • exemptions from asset management requirements;
  • initial eligibility estimates and eligibility calculations for 2023 funding;
  • new Unique Entity Identifier requirements within SAM;
  • information submission processes, including project regrouping, clarification of which data PHAs can edit, and updating unit status;
  • requesting revision to operating subsidy eligibility;
  • a detailed explanation of operating subsidy grant calculations;
  • other requirements, including environmental reviews, Moving to Work agreements, and General Depository Agreements, and general requirements;
  • the appeals process based on appeal type;
  • program requirement for the Rental Assistance Demonstration, Turnkey III, and Envision Center participation; and
  • Faircloth limit guidance.

The notice provides useful links, including the Operating Subsidy Grant Processing Webpage, Operating Fund Web Portal, and Operating Subsidy Grant Listserv. The grant processing webpage organizes 2023 Operating Fund documents, the web portal provides deadlines as well as electronic tools and other resources, and the listserv webpage allows PHAs to sign up for mass emails as well as operating fund data from previous years.

For more information about this notice, see the December 15th issue of The NAHRO Monitor. Find Notice 2022-36 here.

HUD Publishes Public Housing Notices Covering Flat Rents and the Rate Reduction Incentive Program

HUD has released PIH Notice 2022-33 (HA), which updates guidance for flat rents and flat rent exception requests in public housing. PHAs can request to set flat rents lower than 80% of the Fair Market Rent or Small Area Fair Market Rent if they submit a market analysis and HUD concurs that PHAs should lower rents. This guidance covers applying for and extending flat rent exceptions, program compliance, phasing in flat rents, and rent options for families.   

Additionally, HUD has published PIH Notice 2022-34. This notice updates the prior 2019 guidance on the Rate Reduction Incentive program (RRI) in public housing and several related utility and Operating Fund programs. The RRI allows PHAs to retain a portion of cost savings from specific types of practices that decrease utility rates. The notice modifies and makes additions to RRI eligibility, request, and calculation processes. It also describes program requirements for participating PHAs.

For more information about each notice, see the December 15 edition of The NAHRO Monitor. Find Notice 2022-33 (HA) here and Notice 2022-34 here.

HUD Publishes 2023 OCAFs

The Department published a notice titled “Notice of Certain Operating Cost Adjustment Factors for 2023.” Operating cost adjustment factors (OCAFs) are annual factors used to adjust certain Section 8 rents. These OCAFs are calculated as “the sum of weighted component cost changes” for certain publicly available cost indices. Some indices reflect data collected at the state level, while some indices reflect data collected at the national level. The nine cost indicators used in calculating OCAFs are the following:

  • State-level data;
    • Electricity;
    • Fuel Oil;
    • Natural Gas;
  • National-level data;
    • Employee Benefits;
    • Employee Wages;
    • Goods, Supplies, and Equipment;
    • Insurance;
    • Property Taxes; and
    • Water, Sewer, and Trash.

Methodology Changes

The notice states a temporary methodological change. For 2023, due to high levels of inflation, HUD has calculated an inflation factor for each cost component for a time period exceeding a year and used the most recent data available. In the future, HUD will revert to using one-year time periods to calculate levels of inflation for each cost component. NAHRO applauds HUD for recognizing the high levels of inflation that owners are facing and making this change to ensure that cost factors capture the on-the-ground inflationary trends.

In addition to publishing the cost factors, this notice proposes certain permanent technical changes in how OCAFs are calculated in the future. First, in calculating 2024 OCAFs, HUD will begin to use data pulled from August of each year instead of May of each year in order to work with more up-to-date data. Second, HUD will make a change in calculating the insurance component data source inflation factor for the 2023 OCAFs. HUD has used the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, Tenants and Household Insurance Index in the past, while moving forward for the 2023 OCAFs and beyond, HUD will use data from the Direct property and casualty insurers-Commercial multiple peril insurance series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Producer Price Index.

Comments on the methodological changes are due by Dec. 15, 2022.

The full notice with the actual OCAFs by state can be found here.

Final NAHRO Day 3 Session on Financing for Publicly Owned Affordable Workforce Housing

The “NAHRO Together Day 3” webinar series continues for it’s final session of the year Thursday November 17 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The session, with guest speaker Matt Avital from Ascenda Capital, will highlight how housing authorities and agencies throughout the United States can benefit from accessing certain financing structures to create and own affordable workforce housing more efficiently. The presentation will also feature Gerry Cichon, CEO of Housing Opportunity Management Enterprises in El Paso, Texas and Cody Wilson, Managing Director of Piper Sandler.

The webinar is free and open to all. Register here.

If you missed a Day 3 session and would like to view any of the sessions from previous weeks please see below:

Read more: Final NAHRO Day 3 Session on Financing for Publicly Owned Affordable Workforce Housing

HUD Posts EHV Fact Sheets

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD or the Department) has posted several short documents that explain different aspects of the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program. The Department is calling this collection of documents the EHV roadmap. Each roadmap is designed to help housing agencies and partnering entities to understand a different aspect of the EHV program.

A list of each available EHV roadmap can be found below:

  • EHV 101 – this roadmap provides an overview of the EHV program and identifies certain key resources;
  • Administrative Fees – this roadmap describes the different types of administrative fees used in the EHV program and their eligible uses;
  • Waivers and Alternative Requirements – this roadmap describes the waivers and alternative requirements available to entities administering the EHV program;
  • Referral Process – this roadmap describes important parts of the EHV referral process;
  • Advancing Equity (not yet available) – this roadmap describes how the EHV program can focus on equitable outcomes;
  • Partnerships – this roadmap provides information on the mandatory partnership requirements in the EHV program and provides best practices for building those partnerships;
  • Serving Survivors – this roadmap provides resources for serving survivors of domestic violence with the EHV program;
  • Considerations for Rural Communities – this roadmap provides information on serving rural communities along with certain best practices; and
  • Pairing Services – this roadmap provides information on funding and best practices for pairing services with the EHV program.

Additionally, the Department is highlighting its “EHV How to Guide for PHAs” which provides a wealth of information on how to operate a successful EHV program.

All of the available roadmaps can be found here.